Publication details [#548]

Falzett, Tiber F.M. 2012. “Bhio’ tu dìreach ga ithe, bha e cho math = You would just eat it, it was so good”: Music, Metaphor and Food for Thought on Scottish Gaelic Aesthetics. In Idström, Anna and Elisabeth Piirainen. Endangered Metaphors. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 315–338. 24 pp.
Publication type
Article in book  
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins
978 90 272 0405 9 - 978 90 272 7492 2


This paper examines the use of metaphors involving food terms in Scottish Gaelic and focuses on two main figurative conceptualizations, namely ‘music and speech are food’ and ‘accurate performance is taste’. The author maintains that several lexical units in Scottish Gaelic normally associated with the gustatory properties of food come to denote, in an extended sense, quality, acceptability and performance. It is shown that such metaphorical processes do not only blur genre distinctions, but also make it possible to relate language with various forms of cultural expression within Gaelic-speaking communities, which have to be viewed as separate in their notion of ‘taste’ from the dominant Western aesthetic circles. Idioms ultimately play an important role in maintaining communal traditions.